New Year's Resolution Crowd Must Prioritize Diet Over Exercising

New Year's Resolution Crowd Must Prioritize Diet Over Exercising

“You can’t outrun your fork,” said Chelsea Rice, a dietitian at Fitness Formula Clubs, Gold Coast in Chicago. Rice made the remark during a session in her personal nutrition workshop entitled “New Year, New You.”

She was stressing the point that you can’t burn off everything you eat, and more, through exercise, busting one of the most fallacious fitness myths out there. How many times has someone tried to hand you a dessert, you resist, only for them to say, “don’t worry, you’ll walk it off.” While yes, you do burn calories and fat through working out, it’s not enough, not even close, towards meeting the goal of a healthy lifestyle.

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It’s not so much “diet and exercise,” making the two factors sound on par with one another, as it is what you eat first, second, third, fourth….exercising is more like eighth or ninth. All weight loss services know this. If you’re comparing nutrisystem to jenny craig and other weight loss plans, you’ll find that it’s all about making a sensible meal plan, and keeping to it. It’s not “going on a diet,” but maintaining a lifestyle. 

It’s not about yo-yoing up and down, or losing weight for a special occasion, but actually trying to reach and then maintain a good healthy level of fitness and nutrition. Weight rises and falls, pounds come and go, but it’s not as simple as just calories in calories out. There are no shortcuts, fad dieting doesn’t work. Just switching over to vegan, or vegetarian, or doing the paleo, South Beach, Atkins overnight is impossible.

Quick fixes don’t work in the long run. It’s all about changing habits and routines and developing a different outlook and mindset. It’s easy to fall into the trap of gorging for a special occasion and then “burning it off” later. That’s what the New Year’s resolution crowd, at the gyms, are all about- undoing the damage to their bodies from the holidays. That’s why gyms are at their most crowded in January, and sometimes February. By March this group has already given up.

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It’s still not a realistic fitness goal however. The real aspiration should be towards what do you do most of the time? It’s not how many miles you run that day, or how fast you got those miles in, it’s more about how often you run. It’s not about whether or not you let yourself go on Super Bowl Sunday, at the party for the big game. It’s about, making sure you only eat like that once in a great while.  

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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